After a match the New Orleans Pelicans had all but won, Zion Williamson expressed regret for his one-handed, 360-degree slam dunk that enraged the Phoenix Suns.
Even so, the entertaining play represented Williamson’s potential to overcome his previous season’s failures and live up to the great expectations that followed him into the NBA.
Williamson finished with a season-high 35 points in a game between the top two Western Conference teams on Friday night, and the Pelicans defeated the Suns 128-117 thanks to a jam in the style of a dunk competition.
After the game-winning dunk, players and coaches from both teams overrun one another angrily as officials frantically intervened to separate them. “That was a little off of character for me,” Williamson stated.
“I slightly overexerted myself. I do,” Williamson admitted. “But because the Suns drove us home [from the playoffs] in the previous year, I was in that locker room at that time; my brothers were feeling down. Being present at that time must have been difficult. Consequently, I became irrational at that time. I’ll be honest. “.
Williamson had a foot injury that held him out of action for the whole of last season, his third in the NBA, and he entered this season having missed more games than he had ever played. In a six-game winning streak for the Pelicans, he has been outstanding lately, averaging 29 points per game, while New Orleans’ star forward Brandon Ingram has been sidelined with a foot injury.
For the Pelicans, who have triumphed six in a row and 11 in a row, CJ McCollum scored 18 points. He later questioned the Suns’ response to Williamson’s dunk.
If they don’t want us to slam the ball, McCollum said, “They got to get back on defense.”
But Phoenix guard Cameron Payne explained the Suns’ angry response.
Payne claimed that although the game was over, they continued to play. I felt that we disliked it when there was a lack of sportsmanship. We behave morally. The right thing, in my opinion, should have been done, but it wasn’t done. We didn’t handle it well, and we detest losing as well. No shot clock, game over. They can hold the ball. “.
Both coaches played down the argumentative exchanges after the game.
Suns coach Monty Williams said, “That stuff doesn’t bother me at all, man.” It is a component of basketball. It wasn’t all that significant. A group of men was screaming and yelling while standing there without even pushing. Just everyone making an effort to maintain their position. “.
Willie Green described it as “just a little brush up” after briefly needing the Pelicans’ assistant coaches to hold him back. Nothing. “.
The Suns (16-10) defeated for the 4th time in five games and are now 1 point and five games behind New Orleans (17-8) in the Western Conference standings thanks to Deandre Ayton’s 25 points and 14 rebounds and Chris Paul’s 24 points.
“This isn’t us,” Williams declared. “We’re just throwing away too many points in the paint. I’ve got to get the players in the game who are going to be physically intelligent enough to deal with the pressure they give you in the paint.”